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Our Nurses of the Week are the nursing students of the University at Buffalo (UB) who spent a week in Haiti treating over 800 patients. Ten nursing students were assisted on the mission trip by a group of UB faculty and several Western New York physicians, pharmacists, and health care professionals.

The mission trip was led by Molli Warunek who traveled to Haiti for the first time 20 years ago as a nursing student to deliver medical care. That experience spurred her to begin taking part in mission trips around the world, and the April trip with UB nursing marker her 15th mission trip. 

Warunek is now a clinical assistant professor and global initiatives coordinator for the UB School of Nursing. She tells, “The significance of the journey is incredible, as the students and providers learn to always have an endless amount of compassion for their patients, whether they are rich, poor, healthy or unhealthy. That is something you cannot teach in a classroom.”

The UB Nursing mission trip to Haiti was completed in partnership with the community organization, Servants in Fellowship. The group served at a mobile medical clinic in Galette, Haiti, a rural settlement where access to care is difficult and poverty is commonplace.

In one week, the team treated more than 800 patients ranging in age from 19 days old to 91 years old. The nursing students and medical professionals cleaned and dressed wounds; treated respiratory illnesses, burns, and scabies; provided antibiotics and other medication; and administered fluoride varnish to 250 children. UB nursing students also provided hygiene education sustainable in Haitian culture to help prevent future illness.

Overall, the experience exposed the students to diverse cultures and raised awareness of the health challenges faced by people around the world. To learn more about the UB nursing school’s mission trip to Haiti, visit here.

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